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Meta Will No Longer Require VR Users to Connect a Facebook Profile, as it Moves Towards the Next Stage

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Meta Will No Longer Require VR Users to Connect a Facebook Profile, as it Moves Towards the Next Stage

Meta has announced that, as of next month, Meta VR users will no longer need to have a Facebook account to create a VR profile, which, up till now, has been a requirement of VR connection.

The move will separate Meta’s metaverse push from its traditional social media business, which could help Meta add a degree of distance from its Facebook brand – while users will still be able to link up their social media and VR profiles if they wish.

As explained by Meta:

“Starting in August 2022, if you’re new to Meta VR devices or have previously merged your Oculus account with your Facebook account, you’ll need to create a Meta account and Meta Horizon profile. If you’ve been logging into your VR device with your Oculus account, you can continue to do so until January 1, 2023, at which point you’ll need to create a Meta account and Meta Horizon profile to continue using your Meta VR device.”

The process, in Meta’s words, evolves your Oculus profile into a new customizable Meta Horizon profile, which will then become how you represent your social presence in VR. That, again, will help to provide a clear delineation between your Facebook past and VR future, which could be a good way for Meta to start out its metaverse push with a clean – or at least, clean-er – slate.

Because the Facebook brand has been tarnished over the years by various incidences of data misuse and other controversies, while Facebook is also now an older, more stale market presence. Anchoring future VR experiences to the Facebook app could leave Meta also anchored to its past perceptions, which could make this a particularly effective, and important update.

Indeed, Meta is keen to note that your Meta account is not a social media profile:

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“[Your Meta account] lets you log into your VR devices and view and manage your purchased apps in one place. In the future, we’ll extend Meta account functionality so you can use it to log into other Meta devices.”

So it’s a fresh start, a totally new, modern profile format, which will be connected to your digital avatars and other future-looking experiences and tools, without your Facebook history tied to your presence.

Though as noted, you’ll still be able to link your Facebook account if you want to, which will help you find friends in the VR space. You’ll also now be able to connect just your Instagram account, a much-requested addition, which again provides more capacity for formulating a whole new digital presence, without Facebook being the key proxy.

Horizon profiles

Which also, in some ways, seems to devalue the Facebook brand, or at the least, acknowledge that Facebook’s time may be limited.

I mean, the stats speak for themselves – according to Meta’s own internal data, younger users are simply not relying on Facebook as they have in the past, which points to a broader shift away from The Social Network, in favor of newer, fresher platforms.

Facebook usage stats

Now, Meta can also be one of them – but again, it does feel like this is a bit of a white flag from Zuck and Co, a recognition that a lot of people simply don’t like Facebook, which may, eventually, become an existential concern for the app.

But it makes sense. The idea that you can begin your metaverse experience without having to connect your Facebook history does feel refreshing, like a whole new experience that you can curate in a more deliberate, knowledgeable manner.

Most people created their Facebook profile in their teen years, and there are likely various linkages and connections on there that you’re no longer interested in.

The metaverse, and your digital presence, is a whole new realm. And not, it can be exactly that, as Facebook becomes a thing of the past.

Which is what seems likely to happen. Meta’s name change is about more than just distancing itself from bad associations, it’s a future-focused move that will eventually enable it to move on from the stigmas of Facebook’s past.

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Of course, in order to truly achieve this, it also needs to ensure that it applies the lessons learned in building Facebook as it creates the metaverse, which includes safety tools, ad targeting missteps, censorship, etc.

Thus far, the indications are the Meta will have some big challenges on its hands on the safety front. But maybe, if it can get it right, it will be able to shed the baggage of Facebook as it re-emerges in the metaverse world.



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Snapchat Launches Snapchat+ Service in India, at a Significantly Lower Price Point

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Snapchat Officially Launches its New 'Snapchat+' Subscription Program

This is one way to boost your ‘average revenue per user’ stats.

A month after launching its new Snapchat+ subscription offering to users in predominantly western markets, Snap is now also making the option available in India – though at a much lower price point than the initial push.

Snapchat+, which offers exclusive access to new and experimental features, including alternative icons, profile badges, additional analytics and also a desktop version of the app, is available to users in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and UAE for $US3.99 per month (or local equivalent).

But in India, Snapchat+ will be launched at a starting price of 49 – which converts to around $US0.62.

That seems like a fairly big discount, and according to reports, Snapchat+ in India will offer access to all the same features and tools that the general offering has.

So why so cheap?

Well, for one, it’s a different market, and Snap needs to price its offerings in line with the local economy. Snapchat+ also doesn’t cost Snap anything to produce, as such, as there are no production costs built in (other than system maintenance), so it has the flexibility offer variable price points, if it so chooses.

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And as noted, it could crucially be a way for Snap to enhance its revenue per user stats, which, right now, reflect its strong reliance on the North American market for revenue.

Snapchat Q2 2022

If Snap can even that out, and show how it can become a more important, valuable platform in other markets, and make money from its presence, that could help to improve its market standing, while also bringing in additional revenue – which would also be income that’s not reliant on ad spend. And like all social apps, Snap’s ad revenue has taken a hit due to Apple’s ATT update.

It seems like a logical and sensible approach, helping to make the app more sticky with Indian users, and ideally, increasing adoption and revenue intake in another key region.

Snap has seen significant growth in India since it upgraded its Android app back in 2019. Android is by far the most popular OS in the Indian market, and as local connectivity and tech continues to evolve, that’s also opened the door for Snapchat to establish a bigger local presence, while the banning of TikTok in 2020 also pushed Indian users to find alternatives, further enhancing Snap’s appeal.

Indeed, Snapchat is now reportedly up to 144 million daily actives in the Indian market, overtaking the US (108m) as its top country by user adoption – so while it’s not the highest earning region for the company, it is now, arguably, the most important, which is why the expansion of Snapchat+ makes sense.

And while western users may be annoyed that they have to pay more for these features, it could be a clever push by Snap, which could end up paying off big time for the app.  

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